Car Accident Advice

Car Accident Advice from Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer John Fox

What are my rights when the driver that caused the accident left the accident scene before the police came?

Someone hit my car when the light turned green and we started driving. I was driving in the right lane, and she was in the left. She tried to cut me off by turning right, which is not allowed because of the situation of the street—it was a circle. I called the police and was waiting when the other driver left the accident scene. She is reversing the story, claiming that I hit her car while I was entering the road from some place on the right.

You do not indicate if you were injured. If you were injured, you should seek treatment immediately.  You should also consult with an experience personal injury attorney as soon as possible. If you are not injured, you only have a property damage claim. You can recover your property damage through your own insurance company or if you have collision coverage.  If you do not, you can bring a claim against the other driver’s insurance company.  Regardless, contact a local lawyer to iron out all the policy information, details and facts.

If a car was illegally parked 5 feet from a crosswalk and someone walked out and was struck by a car, who is at fault?

A lot more information is needed to provide you with the correct answer.  Right now with the information given, it depends. While cars should always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, pedestrians also need to exercise a certain amount of caution.  With the information above, there is the possibility that the car parked, the car driving and the pedestrian could share some fault.  I would be happy to take a look at all of the policy information, details, and facts of your case.

My 2 year old daughter was involved in car accident. Can her current medical condition be connected to the accident several years prior?

My child was involved in a major auto accident when she was 2 (head on and rolled several times). She was taken to the emergency room and followed up with her MD immediately after the accident. Nothing major was physically found wrong with her at the time of the accident (she had cuts from her car seat in a head on collision that rolled). Soon after we started noticing that she become overly sensitive to certain things. When she was 5, she was evaluated by an Occupational Therapist who diagnosed both sensory and auditory processing disorders for which she has been receiving ongoing treatment and soon needs to see a Neurologist. When she was 4 the insurance co offered to settle, but no agreement was reached.

Symptoms of traumatic brain injury do not always manifest themselves right away, especially in small children.  It’s common for symptoms to show during later stages of development. Therefore, I would say this is a distinct possibility.  If doctors can make the connections between the accident and processing disorders, she has two years since the accident took place to file suit.  With that being said, the more time that transpires, the more difficult it will be to prove her case.  What you should do right now, in addition to seeking the best medical attention, is speak to a Personal Injury lawyer.

Is there a time line to seek medical treatment/evaluate for whiplash injury caused by rear-end collision?

The other driver is 100% at fault and their insurance paid about $800 to the auto repair shop to replace the new pumper for her car. Now they are offering her the same amount to settleTand release all liability related to this injury. Their reason is that it is minor accident.  They denied to cover the cost of MRI (with reason of more than 1 year from date of accident.) She confused her symptoms with her pre-existing condition. The doctor said Whiplash injury could make her existing condition worst. Should she go to small claims court? Does she have a strong case to hire an attorney?

Do not try to settle a car accident case without a lawyer or you end up with a very small settlement.  All cases that I take are on a contingency fee basis.  That means that your friend wouldn’t have to pay anything unless I get her the money.  Small claims court places a cap on how much you can receive.   For this reason, your friend will likely get more money with a personal injury lawyer. If pre-existing injuries flared up as a result of the accident, then the insurance company should pay for this aggravation.

Should I report an accident to my insurance company if I was hit in an accident?  There was minimal car damage, but I am exhibiting lower back pain.

If you are experiencing pain, please see a doctor as soon as possible. You may need an MRI. You should also contact a personal injury lawyer for representation.  A personal injury lawyer will help you navigate who you need to contact, etc.  Even small accidents can cause serious back injury, such as herniation.  Take care.

I was in a car accident and the driver was at-fault. I’m now suffering from a clavicle fracture. Should I be speaking to a lawyer?

Yes, you should absolutely speak with an attorney as soon as possible. A clavicle fracture is a substantial injury. You are entitled to damages for present and future medical expenses and the pain and emotional distress associated with the accident and your injuries.

I got into a car accident.  It was the other drivers fault with possible DUI. I have neck stiffness.   What actions should I take next?

I was driving on a street when a SUV came flying out an alley and hit the front end of my car. My car is totaled. Her car flipped on her side and once she got out, she tried to flee the scene on foot. Police came, took a report and took her away in an ambulance. I overheard one police officer stating that he smelt alcohol on her, although when I asked, he wouldn’t confirm. I wasn’t able to talk to her due to her fleeing and being escorted away in an ambulance right after. Police gave me her license information but that’s all he could find. No proof of insurance, and I couldn’t ask her because she’s no longer at the scene. This happened last night.  Today I awoke with neck stiffness. What do I do now? Wait for my insurance to handle it? Go see a chiropractor about my stiffness? Will that be covered?

At least consult a local personal injury attorney – what have you got to lose since many offer a free initial consultation and on a contingency fee basis (no attorney retainer or hourly fee – instead a percentage of the personal injury recovery). That attorney will be able to assist in the investigation of the claim & obtaining medical care if needed on a lien basis (no payment until case is settled). Seek professional assistance ASAP. Best wishes

When hit by another driver and that other driver is at fault… the victim needs only dance the two step… Step One – immediately get medical attention and Step Two – hire a personal injury attorney.

How much is my case worth?

The car that I was driving was totaled by a tractor trailer.  The insurance company of the truck accepts responsibility.  My left AC was separated and I sustained neck injuries.  I was out of work for 16 weeks.  My medical bills are around 12,500.00 and my lost wages are around 28,000.00.  

The most important thing right now is to keep up with your treatments so you can heal. As to your specific question, it is hard to assess the value of a case without much more detail about the accident and your injuries. You should talk to a personal injury lawyer right away to make sure that you get the best possible recovery. Do not try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself.  A personal injury attorney will put you a position to get the maximum possible recovery.

What kind of figures can expect from a car accident with an injury of 2 herniated disc, 3 pinched nerves, and a tear?

We were driving down the highway on the right lane and got struck by an 18 wheeler on the rear driver side door. We got stuck by the rear passenger side tire of a semi. We were dragged and pushed a ways until we broke loose.  We barely missed the guard rail. The driver kept going after he dragged us. We chased the truck down and the driver pulled over. Police took record of accident. It was reported as the other drivers fault. My 10 year old daughter and I were in the back seat and the impact was on my door. 

Your damages sound substantial.  You will likely be able to recover the cost of your medical expenses plus damages for pain and suffering.  Many factors go into putting a number on a case.  If you hire as a personal injury lawyer, he or she will investigate and evaluate how much your case is worth.  Many factors go into making a determination in value for any personal injury claim. There is no “one size fits all” formula for case values. Each case is different. You and your daughter should get all necessary medical treatment and consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Your lawyer can answer the question of value for you after evaluating all the facts of your case.  Factors unrelated to your injuries (such as how long the driver was driving; the driver’s record of safety; the company’s record of safety; cell phone or drug use, etc.) also increase the value of a case in ways that you may not have thought of. Contact an attorney to assist you.  Good luck.

I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder after car accident.  Is this a possible lawsuit?

I had a severe car accident two months ago. I was a front seat passenger wearing seatbelts. Our car was hit by an unlicensed 12-wheeler truck driver running a red light. The truck hit the front side of passenger side. Our car was totaled. I experienced pain after the accident, but no serious injuries. I started experiencing severe anxiety while in cars and in daily life generally. After I had a panic attack while in a car, I sought counseling. I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder with signs of depression. My therapist said that the accident was a trigger for my anxiety. I’ve been going to therapy since, but my anxiety hasn’t improved much. I’ve been having shortness of breath and trouble sleeping and will have a physical exam soon. Is there a plausible case?

Yes, though proving mental distress claims can be complex. Do you have any physical manifestations such as headaches or ulcers? Courts are more inclined to award emotional distress damages if you have seen a family member perish as opposed to a minor car accident. Have a personal injury lawyer investigate. Good luck.

Do different types of injuries affect how long it will take to sort out a personal injury claim?

Five months ago, my mom was hit by someone turning the corner in their car without looking. My mom suffered fairly bad head trauma, but will ultimately be okay. The claim has still not been completed in what seems like a straightforward case. Is this because of the length of time required to recover from a head injury? 

It sounds as though your mother is represented. If she is concerned about the status of her claim she should contact her attorney.  There are many factors that can affect the length it takes to settle a car accident case including the severity of the injury, the length of medical treatment, the probability of future medical treatment or lost wages, disputes regarding fault in the accident, etc. First, the client should be done with their medical treatment. Second, the attorney will then prepare a settlement package for the insurance adjuster which may include an initial settlement demand. Third, the adjuster usually takes about two weeks to evaluate the claim after receiving all the necessary information from the lawyer. Fourth, the lawyer should be diligent in getting the case submitted to the adjuster and following up with the evaluation. If your lawyer and the insurance adjuster are not able to reach an agreement, then the lawyer and client should discuss the possibility of filing a lawsuit.

When is the best time to take pictures of injuries for a personal injury claim?

I’d like to file a personal injury claim against a driver, and would like to know when the best time to take pictures of injuries is. Should I do it right after the injury, or wait until later when any bruises are biggest? Can I add more pictures later if more injuries come up?

Documentation in the form of pictures of your injuries is helpful to your claim. I would take them throughout the healing process. Consult a competent attorney immediately to discuss how to present a claim. I always recommend that my clients wait until their injuries heal, or their medical condition stabilizes before considering trying to settle their claims.

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